Suspected migrant boat arrives in Eastbourne

Eastbourne emergency services were called as a boat with suspected illegal migrants on it arrived today (Wednesday, August 8).

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 4:48 pm

A Sussex Police spokesperson said, “A group of people on board a boat crossing the English Channel were towed into Eastbourne Harbour by RNLI lifeboat volunteers.

“Sussex Police were called to Sovereign Harbour at 1pm on Wednesday, September 8.”

Officers said they helped detain those on board ahead of the arrival of UK Border Force officials.

Suspected migrants arrive in Eastbourne. Picture from Dan Jessup SUS-210809-162120001

A spokesperson from Eastbourne RNLI said, “I can confirm we have launched our all weather lifeboat and the incident is still ongoing.”

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said 150 bottles of water had been delivered to the harbour to be distributed.

A HM Coastguard spokesperson said, “Her Majesty’s Coastguard has coordinated search and rescue responses to incidents off Kent and East Sussex today, September 8 working with Border Force, Kent Police, Sussex Police and other partners. Lifeboats from Dover, Dungeness, Hastings and Eastbourne were sent.

“HM Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country as set out in international maritime law and the obligations of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS).

Suspected migrants arrive in Eastbourne. Picture from Dan Jessup SUS-210809-161956001

“We are only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”

Suspected migrants arrive in Eastbourne. Picture from Dan Jessup SUS-210809-162031001